Skin of My Teeth; From Hero to Loser; Hero Defined; Not the First But the 24th To Mask Or Not to Mask That is the Question; A Birthday Card From 2017 From Folks at the Trump

I recall meeting with Wise Man after my return from Dubai and him saying:
He: Alexis, you got out of there by the skin of your teeth.
Me: You are right about that!

What does that expression mean? “By the skin of one’s teeth means just barely, by a narrow margin, just in time. The phrase by the skin of one’s teeth is found in the book of Job in the Old Testament of the Bible. Job is a character in the Bible who undergoes an abundance of suffering due to a challenge that Satan has made to God” Where did the phrase come from?
“The phrase first appears in English in the Geneva Bible, 1560, in Job 19:20, which provides a literal translation of the original Hebrew: “I haue escaped with the skinne of my tethe.”.

Somehow I found myself on a Wikipedia site discussing the spread of the coronavirus virus in the UAE. The unnamed person has been transformed from a hero to a loser and a coward. I remember clearly and distinctly when the “first” case or the coronavirus was reported. It was March 3, 2020 and it was an Indian student. But as I just discovered she was the 24th case in the UAE. The first case was on January 29,2020 – a Chinese grandmother flew in with the disease. So the public had been misled – totally – for over month. Oh well, and there was I extolling the virtues of a man who was not a hero at all. Here by the way is a brave man, champion, man of courage, great man, man of the hour, conquering hero, victor, winner, conqueror, lionheart, warrior, paladin, knight, white hat; French chevalier

Oh well, – what did I learn from that? To get my information from a trusted source – the only trusted source I know of is The New Yorker. Things are fact checked, their writers excellent, they interview and report known and reliable experts in the field. Here is an example. Atul Guwande was interviewed, the subject being the wearing of face masks in these troubled times of the coronavirus pandemic. He is the author of the Emperor of All Maladies, and also an amazing book The Checklist Manifesto. “Knowledge exists but we fail to apply it” pg. 8.
“I was struck with how greatly the balance of ignorance and ineptitude has shifted. For nearly all of history people’s lives have been governed primarily by ignorance” pg. 8. How true this is these days, how true! We are all on lock down for no good reason, it seems to me and most experts. Occasionally it is difficult to understand and to sift through scientist’s words, but the questions had to do with the essential inquiry: To Mask Or Not To Mask That Is the Question.

“There is a simpler, so-called surgical mask, which is just a filter across your face, which prevents you from secreting respiratory droplets, and prevents others from getting respiratory droplets from you. These are cheap. In the hospital, we used to just use one and throw it away. But under these circumstances, we need a good decontamination protocol.

If we ask the public to wear masks, whatever masks they are, we need a simple decontamination protocol. Because what we don’t want is people to wear masks, and feel safe, whereas, in fact, they are collecting respiratory droplets. So we need a simple decontamination protocol.

You alluded to it, but is this more about protecting people from getting the coronavirus or preventing people who have it from spreading it?

It’s about both. It is very much about the second, about people who have the coronavirus who may be coughing and sweating and shedding the coronavirus. But I also think it is about people potentially getting coronavirus secretions from coughing and so forth. We can’t quantify how much of it is either. But I can tell you that the crucial number we want to reduce is this magic number called R0. That is the number of people that an individual person with the virus can potentially infect. For the coronavirus, that number appears to be between two and three. And that is a very dangerous number. It means the infection will spread exponentially. So one of the main things we need to do to control the infection is to bring that number down to as low as possible. Masks and social distancing and hand hygiene, all together, have the capacity to do exactly that and bring that down, both because you get the effect on the person who is infecting other people, as well as the potential reduction of infection of someone who is receiving the respiratory droplets.”

So in simple terms – without a decontamination protocol, the people who are wearing face masks are merely collecting the droplets on their masks, making it worse for them rather than better. Apparently the C,D.C. suggests laundering them but as Gawande asserts there needs to be a study because there could be a break down in the fibre of the masks leading them to deteriorate and be ineffective.

But enough of this bad news. Somehow and somewhere there is this list “200 Best Places Ever to Have Sex.” It is hilarious, with people writing in with their ideas. I guess the funniest and most outlandish was a person who suggested a funeral – having sex during a funeral. It has to be said that I have a weird sense of humour. A former, now dead, lover said that I had a sense of ridiculous – I fear he was correct.

So where would I be now if I had not gotten out of Dubai by the skin of my teeth? I would either be living with a sociopath or in a desert prison – the one Princess Haya barely escaped from as her son was clutching her leg and so the helicopter could not escort her there. That was one of the findings made by the High Court in London. It is a sobering thought. I mean this self quarantine is a bit boring but I have my computer and my phone and Netflix.

The photograph is a birthday card given to me by the folks at the Trump International Hotel and Tower on May 29, 2017. Look at all of the signatures and the comments made by people. . I was most popular. My favourites are: “Ms. McBride, One Amazing Woman” “Dear Ms. McBride Happy Birthday I am sure your day is filled with love from us.” Ms/ McBride You Warm All of Your Hearts With Your Presence” “Happy Birthday, Ms. McBride, I hope all your days are as wonderful as you are.”

I found the card when assembling the blogs that mention Uncle Dave. In a sense I am living back in 2017 at this moment. I certainly have lived an interesting life but not really, not until I bravely left Marin and went to live in London (England not Ontario). .

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